Think It And Speak It And Breathe It: Galactica Thread

Last one of the season, guys.

Spoilers within.

I have GOT to stop reading spoilers. The ones I found gave me this ep blow-by-blow, and I think I’d have been much more weirded out had I not known all of it was coming. Still, I’m kind of gobsmacked, and if this is disjointed, that’s why.

Quick takes: Baltar innocent? Perfect punishment, now he has to live with his own squirrelly little self. No Caprica on the stand? Booo. Bad Gaeta, mmkay? Bill/Laura bed conversation? Adorable. Those two are totally having a Parents of Humanity affair, and even though she’s hella pissed at him right now, I think it’ll continue, because it’s TOO HOT NOT TO, dammit. Boomer looked like hell. With all of Dylan at their fingertips, “All Along the Watchtower” is what they use? “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” suits the show so much better:

I’ll walk to the deepths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are a many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number

Because if that’s not about this episode, this whole frackin’ show, I don’t know what is.

So you’re Battlestar Galactica, and you’ve done the thing where the world ends and doesn’t, and you’ve done the thing where everybody gives up and the Cylons win, and you’ve done the thing where the Galactica comes back and rescues everybody from that, and it’s been AWESOME, so now what? You turn it around, turn inward. Who are we, with the finish line in sight? And how much does who we are depend on who we want to be?

This show terrified in the very, very, very beginning with the idea that Cylons look like us. What if nobody’s who they say they are? Turn that around. What if everybody is who they say they are? What if that’s been it, all along? What if it’s really about the right to decide for yourself, independent of any Cylon detector Baltar can invent, what you’re called?

At least, that’s the idea I had, seeing Tigh (who fracked things up after the mutiny and laid Ellen down) and Tory (Roslin’s support system, the one who almost stole the election) and Sam (who saved his people on Caprica long after everybody else had buggered off) and Tyrol (the fleet’s worker, the one who makes the machines run) all standing together in that room. The people who run things, who make them go. The people who resisted. The people prepared to do more than anyone else is willing to do for the saving of humanity. Heroes, after all.

And Kara. Who crossed over, and crossed back, and laughs at Lee who’s just given his Dad one more fuck-you, and put his flight suit back on. Because he’s a pilot, that’s who he’s decided to be. That’s who he says he is. We have the burdens we pick up and carry and no more, no less. We have the obligations we assign ourselves, and those obligations are called our lives, and to follow up on my earlier post today, it’s all one thing. I wasn’t talking about what we call, optimistically, the “work-life balance.” I wasn’t talking about hours or commutes. I was talking about what you consider your life, what you value. Who you choose to be. Lee, running down the hall to grab his helmet, tearing off his tie. That image will be with me for a long time, and I don’t even like him all that much.

Kara. I’ve read a hundred theories and a thousand spoilers from overeager fanboys and girls. But the raider was real, it slipped in and out of the sky, as she does now. I’ll be amazed if anyone else can see it. It’s telling, that unlike the last time she showed up on Lee’s wing unexpectedly, he called her Kara. Not Starbuck.

I wonder who she is right now.


17 thoughts on “Think It And Speak It And Breathe It: Galactica Thread

  1. “The people who resisted. The people prepared to do more than anyone else is willing to do for the saving of humanity. Heroes, after all.”
    It’s interesting, in retrospect, that the three leaders — absolute leaders — of the resistance are all cylons. Looks like the writers were trying to make your point in the New Caprica episodes — who we are is who we make ourselves. Not how the wiring evolved.
    And if Galen is a cylon — then Hera isn’t the only half-cylon baby, unless Calli is one also, and it would be a pretty big letdown if she’s the last of the final five.
    So who is the final cylon? Kara? Or is that too frackin’ obvious? Has she resurrected?
    “Lee, running down the hall to grab his helmet, tearing off his tie. That image will be with me for a long time, and I don’t even like him all that much.”
    But you have to admit, even if you’re not crazy about Lee, that was one stem-winder of a speech he gave. He may be self-righteous and full of himself sometimes, but he has a pretty unshakeable moral core. What he sees himself as, is a soldier trying to do what’s right, and not always succeeding. He couldn’t *not* get back in the Viper. He knew he could make a difference. Just like he couldn’t *not* give his all to Baltar’s defense, because he knew he could make a difference.
    But I’m glad he’s back in the Viper. He looks much better in the pretty flyboy suit than he does in a lawyer suit. And even better in a towel.
    As for Baltar — I’m glad they saved his ass. I’d miss his slimy, greasy presence if they got rid of him. And the whining. I think we’re going to be hearing a lot of whining from him next season.
    How much longer before they start again?

  2. There’s going to be a movie in the fall but it’s going to revisit Pegasus and Adm. Cain (sp?). See Saturday’s Salon for an interview with Ron Moore.
    From about the time Galen, Tigh, Sam, and Tory gathered together I just kept saying, “Holy Frack!” repeatedly.
    I need to watch this one again…still processing it.
    Where’d Kara get the Viper? They showed hers burning up pretty clearly.
    But nearly a year until we (maybe) get some answers? Bah!

  3. I still say they’re not Cylons. There’s something more to it. Why would Cylons be singing Dylan?
    If they are Cylons, the final one is Laura.

  4. Well, I wondered if Madame President was the 5th Cylon. Did she know that all along?
    As for the song, what else would you use for these 4? “All Along the Watchtower” is perfect. The sense of being trapped, of seeking escape, of the absurdity (the first three lines alone), and yet of standing guard?
    What could have been more perfect? And the version they played? Perfect.

  5. Yeah, I think Laura’s the fifth. The people who protected humanity, the people who shepherded it to its new home.
    Tigh still breaks my heart.

  6. I too think Watchtower was the right choice:

    There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
    But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate,
    So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.

    Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,
    Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

    Next to Sympathy for the Devil, it may be one of the scariest, most dread-filled rock songs ever. I see Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall more as a great polemic.
    Re the four new Cylons- one thing that strikes me is that they believe they are Cylons, but we still don’t have “proof” that they are. As far as we know, the other Cylons don’t know about them. Also if they are, we still don’t know they are part of the Final Five. I realize it’s likely they are both, but it would be great if instead, they were something else entirely: the Lords of Kobol, or Cylon hybrids, or some Cylons from Earth that the other Cylons don’t know about. I hope there’s more to it than what we’ve seen. Also, the same re Roslin and Starbuck- I hope they are something we don’t yet know about – higher beings or something. It just seems so predictable for Roslin to be a Cylon, i’d like to see them string that out a little more.
    I’m also intrigued about the Starbuck piece. Is she just appearing to Lee? Is he having a vision that would also include his dradis/radar, or is she really there in a Viper? And this also brings up what he saw before- perhaps he didn’t really see her blow up- maybe that was a vision as well, or were/are they in some dimensional anomaly? I think him seeing her now definitely opens questions up about what happened before since he was the only witness to that as well.
    As for Baltar, I think they did a good job storywise-he’s got to be able to run around and be batshit crazy- that’s what he’s best at.
    I very much like Lee’s testimony, though the character (and actor) is still a big “meh” for me. But it was a great piece of writing and it makes more sense for it to be said by Lee.

  7. I agree with RMJ, the All Along the Watchtower was too perfect for me. I can’t get no relief. There’s no let-up for these people. They don’t get to stop and process all this–they just have to do what they do. *That’s* what makes them who they are.
    I think the money quote from this was “We’re all Cylons.” When I heard that in the preview last week, I remember thinking, “Damned right. We are. All of us. Every one of us.” This has all happened before, and it will all happen again. Cylons are humans, and humans are Cylons, and they always have been. Humans and Cylons are a Mobius strip. It may have two sides, but they’re both still the same strip of paper.
    Damn, but didn’t Kara look transcendantly happy? I don’t know yet what happened to her, but whatever it was, it was *good*. She looked like she found peace somehow, and it wasn’t just finding Earth that did it.
    I agree with Athenae–this is like a giant frack you to Calvinist predestination. Boomer/Athena has already proven that, and so has Caprica Six. And the boxed Three. We are who we choose to be.
    So what’s with the shared vision between Sharon/Caprica/Laura/Hera? Things I noticed: Hera’s at least three by my non-parent guesstimate, and Laura’s hair was quite a bit longer. So this is future, at least a year, if I’m calculating right. So Laura has to survive the cancer that far anyway. (And how much of my adoration for Elizabeth Edwards is projection of my favorite teevee Crazy Space Mom?)
    Sigh. I’m rambling now. Still processing what was a fracking good episode. Lee really went a long way toward redeeming himself in my eyes (and his father’s, I suspect) with that speech. Loved the lawyer guy (refuse to say his silly name) leaving the cane–nice touch! Baltar staying true to form–once an asshole, always an asshole. Anybody else note that he said not one word about Six? No, “What happens to her?” Nothing.
    Oh, and Gaeta, you DICK! If you’d told the truth, my bet is, they’d have convicted him. Nobody on that panel believed Gaeta. Nobody.
    Damn, what a good episode. It’s gonna be a long 2007. They’d better come out with the DVDs right quick, so I can console myself with high-def Kara.

  8. “Re the four new Cylons- one thing that strikes me is that they believe they are Cylons, but we still don’t have “proof” that they are. As far as we know, the other Cylons don’t know about them. Also if they are, we still don’t know they are part of the Final Five.”
    If they’re not cylons, how and why did the four of them all start hearing music nobody else could, simultaneously? Maybe they are some as yet unrecognized life form, but I think that would be cheating.
    The point the writers were trying to make is that humanity needs to rethink both its definition of humanity and its understanding of Cylon=enemy if these four are cylons. They’re clearly anything but enemies, and they’ve all exhibited their humanity in any number of ways, so what exactly does it mean to be a cylon?

  9. And never was heard a discouraging word… This is the most positive review I’ve read this season.
    Is it just me, or did this episode just make up for all of the bad writing from this season? I felt like I was back in Season 1, again, with my mouth gaping open at the end of an episode, just blown away at the sheer majesty of concept and execution. This was one of the best season finales I’ve seen for any show in a long, long time.
    Here’s my prediction: Kara is the fifth one. She is the messiah. She has seen the face of GOD and basked in the light of eternity. She is the very first cylon/human hybrid, though we don’t know it yet (Who was her daddy, by the way? Wasn’t her mom in the Fleet?), the daughter of gods, woman and machine. She will lead them (human and Cylon alike) to the promised land.

  10. Hmm… good question. I think the answer may be “none of the above.” My prediction hinges on three threads coming together here: First, the humans, then the Cylons, and then whatever it is that’s manipulating them both in this odd little dance they’re doing around religion. I hate to say the gods, but that’s sort of what’s implied: some kinds of deus ex machina at work. It’s probably a wrong prediction, but I was struck by this inspiration and kind of wanted to get it out there. For me, there are a lot of things going on behind the surfaces that that can see, and the look on Starbuck’s face last night was what made me leap to this conclusion. She has seen and/or experienced something that has made her whole again. My first thought was that she had be decanted into a new body. The rest of the prediction followed from there. We know the Cylons talk of gods and prophesy: same gods, slightly skewed prophesy. We are beginning to see how the Cylons and humans are almost (but not quite) the same, under the skin. The question that drives me to these observations is this: What could possibly bring them together again? It may be a trite analogy, but the Cylons were, in a sense, cast out of their Eden. The humans are both their creators and their adversaries (God and Satan combined). Mere vengeance did not redeem them in their own eyes, and now they are seeking the truth.
    I almost see it as something like the First Ones in Babylon 5, but without the easy and reliable moral framework of Order/Chaos. Okay, enough musing. Can you see why I might be thinking along these lines?

  11. I don’t think Starbuck is the final cylon. Given that last scene with Lee, that’s just too easy. I think Starbuck will turn out to be something beyond either human or cylon. A human who is able to somehow access the resurrection ship to be reborn — as a human.
    Then you really have to redefine your concepts of humanity and cylonity…
    The final cylon I think will be a total surprise. Someone like Tom Zarek maybe.

  12. Let me post a corrective: I no longer trust Moore/Eick, and the more I think about the finale, the more I think it’s bullshit — not because it was bad, but because I don’t think they can pull off the threads they’ve created completely and with precision and compassion. Violating all the rules we know about humanoid Cylons seems a desperation ploy, and I feel used.
    I recall the crap that was Moore’s handling of Sisko at the end of DS9, when he all of a sudden became the kwitsatz haderach, precisely due to unrevealed, soap opera crap backstory about his dad getting jumped on by a wormhole being. The Section 31 emergence was bad enough, simply due to the massive totalitarian flavor it gave the entire post-Kirk federation, which should have been given a series of its own to explore. Now we’ve got retcon bits all over the place; we’ve got heroes who are just as programming-bound as any sexbot Six; and, the entire commentary on what humanity is, and how we preserve it during war, has just been D’Souzaed — if you have a moment of doubt about killing all the Cylon, everywhere, well, then, you *are* a Cylon. And don’t bring up Tigh as the far-right control, because his obvious weaknesses are just as damaging to the Colonial fleet, precisely because he can’t man up enough to put the bottle down.
    I just think we’re screwed, for the next season, and I’ll just pick out whatever bits of goodness I can, no matter how fracked up it will get.
    Maybe I’m just plucked that Dee didn’t have a crying jag over watching Apollo’s testimony. I’m a suffing junkie, I guess. And if the last of the Five is Billy, I will simply plotz.

  13. I think cgeye is just the leading wave of the backlash against this episode. My wife is pissed with the episode – she couldn’t believe the writers “stooped to such lousy and cheesy music as a plot device.”

  14. She is the very first cylon/human hybrid
    That’s what I told the husband when I (finally!) got to see the ep last night. It’s why her mom told her she was special and why Leoban said it had all happened before and would again.
    I also think Tigh was the first skin job – a deeply flawed prototype. Wouldn’t it be funny if HE was Kara’s dad? No, no, it really wouldn’t. Sorry I brought it up. Anyway, I think it was Tigh to whom Three was apologizing, since she had tortured him.
    I think the final five were the first five, but they turned out too uncontrollable. The programming hadn’t been perfected yet, so while they had the trigger mechanism down, they couldn’t program what they did before that — and possibly not after. Three evolved to that point and they boxed her for it. She was trying to be true to who she was, who she had become and who she wanted to be, so they pegged her as crazy and put her away. Only now you have the final five who are all just like that and it provides the bridge between humanity and the cylons because in many ways we are all programmed and those who reject their programming are dangerous and crazy.
    As for why the song, well…the obvious apocalypse message. In this case, the end of days may be finding out that the first five cylons were made by humans on earth, perhaps in the early days of computers and cloning and that everything we believed about what defines humanity and machinery is either wrong or backwards – or simply incomplete.

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